Dining Tidbits

Noodles, Budget Beat, Great Tip

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I Monelli

Just a few nibbles of the Roma-style square pizza served at this homey little parlor and we’re smitten. The freshness, delicate touch, and judicious balance of ingredients are all key, but it’s the crust that seals the deal. Rich, slightly chewy, but still crisp—and neither too thick nor too thin—it’s so divine that we battle over corner slices. We fall hard for patate e rosmarino pie, a rosemary-scented, potato-laden gem ($19 for an 18-inch; easily feeds three to four), but if a potato-pizza partnership doesn’t sound quite kosher, check out the fresh-tomato-and-basil-studded Margherita, or create your own combo from a lineup of nearly two dozen ingredients. Owners and pals Giovanni Carzedda, Massimiliano Agostini, and Marco Schiavoni aim to please. “We’re small,” says Carzedda, who mans the kitchen, “and can’t afford much help, so everyone does everything from waiting on tables to washing glasses.” Don’t count on speedy service but do plan on soothing minestrone, crunchy bruschetta zipped with loads of chopped tomato and garlic, and imported spaghetti cloaked in a creamy, dreamy pesto sauce ($9.95). Desserts are made in-house, with the vanilla bean-spiked panna cotta offering a smooth, gratifyingly light finale. BYO. 5019 N. Western Ave.; 773-561-8499. –Jill Rohde




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